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(Deadspin)   The human element in baseball - Part 2: The generous strike zone called during Jered Weaver's no-hitter   (deadspin.com) divider line 218
    More: Fail, strike zone, no-hitter, baseball  
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3023 clicks; posted to Sports » on 04 May 2012 at 11:29 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-04 12:04:09 PM

WTF Indeed: thomps: i've never bet on baseball in my life and i don't mind umps defining their own strike zone, but how could anyone think it's reasonable to allow the rules to be applied differently to one team than the other in a game?

Because what you have in this article is called a shiatty argument against the umpire. They don't show the pitch track for the Minnesota pitchers, they don't show the umpires average strike calls. It doesn't take into account the skill of the catcher for both teams. More than likely, you'd see a similar pattern for the other team.


Wait, what? Did you not see all of those triangles on the graph? Those were Minnesota's pitches...
 
2012-05-04 12:05:34 PM

bulldg4life: [img191.imageshack.us image 275x235]

Seriously.

And, he's aware of it, too. We told him several years ago.


In this dystopian future, people are able to turn their faces without turning their heads.
 
2012-05-04 12:06:22 PM
If it isn't putting Calvin and Hobbes in a picture, I suck at photoshop.
 
2012-05-04 12:07:20 PM

IAmRight: thomps: if each ump has a different strike zone that is applied differently to different pitchers and batters then yes, they are changing the rules.

No, they're interpreting the rules. They are asked to pick a spot 10 feet in front of them and tell where a ball is in three-dimensional space while coming at them over an 18-inch plate. The differences aren't some overt rule - you ever have situations at work where you can't decide if something's good or bad, so you check with someone else? If the person who offers their opinion is a known moron, you go with the opposite of what they say. If the person who offers their opinion tends to be right about things, you're inclined to agree with them. So it goes in a quicker manner for some calls.

/I'd be interested to see a challenge where people try to umpire a major-league game and compare their calls with a pitch tracker


so would you agree that any easily applied technology to aid in that difficult job should be made available to the umps?
 
2012-05-04 12:08:14 PM

IAmRight: thomps: if each ump has a different strike zone that is applied differently to different pitchers and batters then yes, they are changing the rules.

No, they're interpreting the rules. They are asked to pick a spot 10 feet in front of them and tell where a ball is in three-dimensional space while coming at them over an 18-inch plate. The differences aren't some overt rule - you ever have situations at work where you can't decide if something's good or bad, so you check with someone else? If the person who offers their opinion is a known moron, you go with the opposite of what they say. If the person who offers their opinion tends to be right about things, you're inclined to agree with them. So it goes in a quicker manner for some calls.

/I'd be interested to see a challenge where people try to umpire a major-league game and compare their calls with a pitch tracker


So, rather than use a system that's really good at that type of 3D location, we ask people to do it even though they may not be all that great at it? What sense does that make?

/The answer is "None, it makes no sense whatsoever"
 
2012-05-04 12:08:23 PM

thomps: so you can't enjoy a game and also wish that simple steps were taken to improve its officiating?


I'm saying it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. I've got to get up for work in the morning regardless of the strike zone, so while I may be emotionally invested in a game's outcome, I don't particularly feel the need to scrutinize every inch of an umpire's strikezone and call for a robotic solution.
 
2012-05-04 12:08:44 PM
I'd love to see a psychological profile of people who think we need blown calls in sports to somehow protect the integrity of the game.

It's one of the most dumbfounding philosophical viewpoints I've ever run across. It's crazier than anything I've ever seen on the Politics Tab.
 
2012-05-04 12:10:24 PM

sigdiamond2000: I'd love to see a psychological profile of people who think we need blown calls in sports to somehow protect the integrity of the game.

It's one of the most dumbfounding philosophical viewpoints I've ever run across. It's crazier than anything I've ever seen on the Politics Tab.


I gotta call bullshiat on that one. I know you read birther threads.
 
2012-05-04 12:12:31 PM

Yanks_RSJ: I'm saying it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. I've got to get up for work in the morning regardless of the strike zone, so while I may be emotionally invested in a game's outcome, I don't particularly feel the need to scrutinize every inch of an umpire's strikezone and call for a robotic solution.


Exactly. Which goes back to my point about who screams about this problem. You are either a gambler whose winning or losing money rides on the human element, or you are so engrossed with a sport that you can no longer separate yourself from what is game for amusement.
 
2012-05-04 12:12:48 PM

Yanks_RSJ: thomps: so you can't enjoy a game and also wish that simple steps were taken to improve its officiating?

I'm saying it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. I've got to get up for work in the morning regardless of the strike zone, so while I may be emotionally invested in a game's outcome, I don't particularly feel the need to scrutinize every inch of an umpire's strikezone and call for a robotic solution.


so you don't care either way then. noted.
 
2012-05-04 12:12:51 PM

IAmRight: /I'd be interested to see a challenge where people try to umpire a major-league game and compare their calls with a pitch tracker


So your basic premise is that it's impossible to call a game accurately, and to even get close, it requires near super-human talent. However, we should not provide any technological assistance to them to help improve their accuracy.
 
2012-05-04 12:13:24 PM
Bad calls makes sports more interesting.

It's baseball, not the Supreme Court.

You shouldn't really care this much
 
2012-05-04 12:14:42 PM

sigdiamond2000: I'd love to see a psychological profile of people who think we need blown calls in sports to somehow protect the integrity of the game.


Conversely, I'd like to see the psychological profile of someone who is so invested in a ballgame that human error is unacceptable. The world is an imperfect place.

By the way, nobody says blown calls protect the integrity of anything, some of us are saying it's not life and death and you should get the fark over it.
 
2012-05-04 12:14:47 PM

WTF Indeed: Yanks_RSJ: I'm saying it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. I've got to get up for work in the morning regardless of the strike zone, so while I may be emotionally invested in a game's outcome, I don't particularly feel the need to scrutinize every inch of an umpire's strikezone and call for a robotic solution.

Exactly. Which goes back to my point about who screams about this problem. You are either a gambler whose winning or losing money rides on the human element, or you are so engrossed with a sport that you can no longer separate yourself from what is game for amusement.


you sound like a football fan. do you get annoyed when anyone who brushes up against tom brady at any point throughout the duration of a football game gets flagged for roughing the passer? or have you detached yourself enough from the sport that you can enjoy the game for its amusement.
 
2012-05-04 12:16:04 PM

BKITU: sigdiamond2000: I'd love to see a psychological profile of people who think we need blown calls in sports to somehow protect the integrity of the game.

It's one of the most dumbfounding philosophical viewpoints I've ever run across. It's crazier than anything I've ever seen on the Politics Tab.

I gotta call bullshiat on that one. I know you read birther threads.


At least in birther threads, you can sort of logically trace that kind of pathology to something tangible (i.e., that they're just racists).

The whole "we must continue to keep allowing bad officiating to change the outcome of games because to do otherwise would destroy the sport" thing is just completely mystifying to me.
 
2012-05-04 12:16:41 PM

thomps: so would you agree that any easily applied technology to aid in that difficult job should be made available to the umps?


Indeed. Also, we should give this technology to hitters in order to make it easier to get hits - as evidenced by their current sub-.300 batting averages, they're pretty terrible at it.

You know what? I also don't enjoy the human element in pitching. Batters shouldn't have to worry about getting hit with 95 mph pitches, which can injure them. Let's just put pitching machines out on the mound instead. That would keep more pitches in the strike zone and make the game better for everyone.
 
2012-05-04 12:17:50 PM
so if i'm reading this thread correctly, the arguments against computer aided strike zone enforcement are:
- it's hard to call, so we shouldn't make it easier
- umpires should be active participants in the game
- it's a silly game so we shouldn't care anyway

amazing.
 
2012-05-04 12:18:49 PM
Does this mean we can put asterisks on every single accomplishment ever because all achievements are tainted by inexact umpiring? Because I know baseball fans LOVE asterisks.
 
2012-05-04 12:19:18 PM

Yanks_RSJ: some of us are saying it's not life and death


I'm not talking about that. I agree with you. It's not life and death.

I'm talking about people who think blown calls are "part of the game" and that steps should not be taken to improve officiating in sports even though they are widely available and easy to implement.
 
2012-05-04 12:19:21 PM

thomps: so you can't enjoy a game and also wish that simple steps were taken to improve its officiating?


No, I'm just not convinced that more precision and repeatibility in ball-and-strike calls would necessarily be an improvement to the game as a whole.

Sometimes, shiat happens. As long as it isn't too extreme, suck it up and get on with life. Then continue enjoying the very same game by spending the next few days talking about what-if this and what-if that. That's part of baseball, too, not just statistics.
 
2012-05-04 12:19:40 PM
i saw the game, and there were some Ks he did not get,
so there.......dustsbin.com
 
2012-05-04 12:19:53 PM

IAmRight: thomps: so would you agree that any easily applied technology to aid in that difficult job should be made available to the umps?

Indeed. Also, we should give this technology to hitters in order to make it easier to get hits - as evidenced by their current sub-.300 batting averages, they're pretty terrible at it.

You know what? I also don't enjoy the human element in pitching. Batters shouldn't have to worry about getting hit with 95 mph pitches, which can injure them. Let's just put pitching machines out on the mound instead. That would keep more pitches in the strike zone and make the game better for everyone.


hahaha fantastic. the fact that you can equate aiding those officiating the game with those playing the game says a lot about how you view the role of the ump.
 
2012-05-04 12:21:40 PM

thomps: you sound like a football fan. do you get annoyed when anyone who brushes up against tom brady at any point throughout the duration of a football game gets flagged for roughing the passer? or have you detached yourself enough from the sport that you can enjoy the game for its amusement.


As a Jets fan let me say, f*ck Tom Brady. Now as someone who watches the Jets get their asses kicked by Tom Brady twice a year for the most part. let me say, it's still a game. If the Jets lose because of blown call then they lose. I finish my beer, consider it a better day than working, and go on with my life. If you get that emotionally tied to a sport you have serious priority issues.
 
2012-05-04 12:22:57 PM

Yanks_RSJ: By the way, nobody says blown calls protect the integrity of anything, some of us are saying it's not life and death and you should get the fark over it.


And nobody's saying it's the end of the world. What they're saying is that this is the only professional endeavor I can think of in which the unnecessary presence of error is tolerated.
 
2012-05-04 12:23:01 PM

IAmRight: Indeed. Also, we should give this technology to hitters in order to make it easier to get hits - as evidenced by their current sub-.300 batting averages, they're pretty terrible at it.

You know what? I also don't enjoy the human element in pitching. Batters shouldn't have to worry about getting hit with 95 mph pitches, which can injure them. Let's just put pitching machines out on the mound instead. That would keep more pitches in the strike zone and make the game better for everyone.


Honest question: How do you feel about instant replay in football?
 
2012-05-04 12:23:59 PM
I'm not talking about that. I agree with you. It's not life and death.

I'm talking about people who think blown calls are "part of the game" and that steps should not be taken to improve officiating in sports even though they are widely available and easy to implement.


In the NFL we could have iso cams on every player from multiple angles. Take the refs off the field. We could get every penalty 100% correct.

But we won't do it.. why? Because it's not really that important and makes the game less interesting.

Sports are nothing more than entertainment
 
2012-05-04 12:24:04 PM

WTF Indeed: thomps: you sound like a football fan. do you get annoyed when anyone who brushes up against tom brady at any point throughout the duration of a football game gets flagged for roughing the passer? or have you detached yourself enough from the sport that you can enjoy the game for its amusement.

As a Jets fan let me say, f*ck Tom Brady. Now as someone who watches the Jets get their asses kicked by Tom Brady twice a year for the most part. let me say, it's still a game. If the Jets lose because of blown call then they lose. I finish my beer, consider it a better day than working, and go on with my life. If you get that emotionally tied to a sport you have serious priority issues.


how much of an emotional investment does it take to wish officiating was fairly and consistently applied? this just seems like a terrible argument against improvement.
 
2012-05-04 12:25:09 PM

thomps: so if i'm reading this thread correctly, the arguments against computer aided strike zone enforcement are:
- it's hard to call, so we shouldn't make it easier
- umpires should be active participants in the game
- it's a silly game so we shouldn't care anyway


Well, you're a baseball fan, so you're probably pretty dumb to begin with, so I'll simplify it for you.

"It's hard to call" was an argument made against the idea that umpires are blatantly out there changing the rules for every player, as though it's not just a difference of interpretation/vision of what's happening. It has nothing to do with the argument for technology assistance - you're throwing that in there because you think people care so desperately about everything. These data points seem to be on a plane - baseballs don't always cross the plate in a straight line. So since home plate has depth, which plane should we consider as the strike zone? Unless you have 3D modeling, which seems far more in-depth than the simplest sport in the world deserves.

Umpires are active participants in every sport. It's just how it is. It's not something inherently terrible that we need to eliminate them, as you're asserting.

Yes, it is a silly game so you shouldn't care.
 
2012-05-04 12:26:07 PM

Babwa Wawa: What they're saying is that this is the only professional endeavor I can think of in which the unnecessary presence of error is tolerated.


Anybody know if saber fencing still uses human judges to call touches?
 
2012-05-04 12:26:51 PM

thomps: so if i'm reading this thread correctly, the arguments against computer aided strike zone enforcement are:
- it's hard to call, so we shouldn't make it easier
- umpires should be active participants in the game
- it's a silly game so we shouldn't care anyway

amazing.


Hey I'm with you. Particularly in the playoffs in 2010 when the Twins faced off against the Yankees, strike 3 to Mark Texeira was called a ball in one of the games, and later in the at-bat he hit a 3 run homerun. It's that kind of game-changing bad call that disgusts me, and while others are more ambivalent about it, I personally feel like we would have a game which more accurately reflects each team's actual skill if there were correct calls made.

WTF Indeed disagrees, which I am okay with because hell it's just a game, I'm just pissed 'cause it feels like the Twins get shiat on a lot and they're my team. So there's a measure of personal bias here too. =) Trying to argue from an objective standpoint, but I will admit it gets difficult when you're more invested in a team.
 
2012-05-04 12:27:11 PM

Slow To Return: Honest question: How do you feel about instant replay in football?


It seems to exist solely in order to add commercial breaks.

I'm fine with it existing, I would be fine with it if it went back to not existing. It's not like having instant replay means that calls are going to be correct.
 
2012-05-04 12:27:18 PM

Slow To Return: Honest question: How do you feel about instant replay in football?


I think on most issues it's a total waste of time.

The only replay that doesn't bother me is the overhead view of a goal in hockey to see if the puck cross the line.
 
2012-05-04 12:27:45 PM

bulldg4life: If it isn't putting Calvin and Hobbes in a picture, I suck at photoshop.


After toying around with Ray Liotta's head for a while, I can see why you had trouble.
*another phrase I didn't think I'd ever say
Ray Liotta does not like facing directly forward or smiling, apparently. OH well. Here's Ray's eyes and nose on the Carlson instead.

i291.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-04 12:28:44 PM

IAmRight: thomps: so if i'm reading this thread correctly, the arguments against computer aided strike zone enforcement are:
- it's hard to call, so we shouldn't make it easier
- umpires should be active participants in the game
- it's a silly game so we shouldn't care anyway

Well, you're a baseball fan, so you're probably pretty dumb to begin with, so I'll simplify it for you.

"It's hard to call" was an argument made against the idea that umpires are blatantly out there changing the rules for every player, as though it's not just a difference of interpretation/vision of what's happening. It has nothing to do with the argument for technology assistance - you're throwing that in there because you think people care so desperately about everything. These data points seem to be on a plane - baseballs don't always cross the plate in a straight line. So since home plate has depth, which plane should we consider as the strike zone? Unless you have 3D modeling, which seems far more in-depth than the simplest sport in the world deserves.

Umpires are active participants in every sport. It's just how it is. It's not something inherently terrible that we need to eliminate them, as you're asserting.

Yes, it is a silly game so you shouldn't care.


awesome, good work.
 
2012-05-04 12:28:47 PM

IAmRight: Well, you're a baseball fan, so you're probably pretty dumb to begin with, so I'll simplify it for you.


Round of applause for the class act here, ladies and gentlemen.
 
2012-05-04 12:28:55 PM

WTF Indeed: Because what you have in this article is called a shiatty argument against the umpire. They don't show the pitch track for the Minnesota pitchers, they don't show the umpires average strike calls. It doesn't take into account the skill of the catcher for both teams. More than likely, you'd see a similar pattern for the other team.


img.gawkerassets.com

The image from the article. Everything you wrote is contradicted by it. Weaver's pitches are the squares. The Twins' pitches are the triangles. Only umpire's calls are shown-- balls or called strikes.

See the 11 red squares outside the zone, some of which are 8-10" off the black? Called Weaver strikes. See the one red triangle (barely) outside the zone? That was the only freebie given to the Twins all night.
 
2012-05-04 12:28:58 PM
I'm fine with it existing, I would be fine with it if it went back to not existing. It's not like having instant replay means that calls are going to be correct.

This is my argument against instant replay in sports. Most of the time, there's still disagreement even after the replay...especially in the NFL.
 
2012-05-04 12:29:16 PM

MugzyBrown: The only replay that doesn't bother me is the overhead view of a goal in hockey to see if the puck cross the line.


I'm fine with the "during a break" review of 3-pointers in the NBA, too. If they stopped the game to review it, it would be awful and worthless.
 
2012-05-04 12:30:05 PM

Babwa Wawa: Umpires don't get to have a personal strike zone. When they do, it makes me go apeshiat like few other things in this world, it hurts the credibility of the sport, and makes me not want to watch it.


Well, goddamnit, Hot Lips, resign your goddamn commission.
 
2012-05-04 12:30:11 PM
See the 11 red squares outside the zone, some of which are 8-10" off the black? Called Weaver strikes. See the one red triangle (barely) outside the zone? That was the only freebie given to the Twins all night.

And you were be able to get out of bed the next day? Amazing. You are an american hero.
 
2012-05-04 12:32:31 PM

chimp_ninja: See the 11 red squares outside the zone, some of which are 8-10" off the black? Called Weaver strikes. See the one red triangle (barely) outside the zone? That was the only freebie given to the Twins all night.


When you shut down another team early then you get the benefit of the doubt when the ump isn't sure. SCANDAL
 
2012-05-04 12:32:31 PM

thomps: how much of an emotional investment does it take to wish officiating was fairly and consistently applied? this just seems like a terrible argument against improvement.


A lot I guess. Emotional attachment to a game is different in football than in baseball. In baseball there's another game tomorrow. In football everything rides on 16 games. Comparing the emotional investment football fans have to a single game to baseball is moronic. Football is a hype game, media spends a week hyping a game, therefore it has to be perfect on every level.

If baseball tried to hype every game or series they'd go broke. ESPN tried to do this for years with Yankees/Red Sox. When they realized it's hard to hype a game where the fifth starters are pitching in mid-May they gave up.
 
2012-05-04 12:32:41 PM

MugzyBrown: See the 11 red squares outside the zone, some of which are 8-10" off the black? Called Weaver strikes. See the one red triangle (barely) outside the zone? That was the only freebie given to the Twins all night.

And you were be able to get out of bed the next day? Amazing. You are an american hero.


this just in: discussing the topic of a thread on fark.com is now considered being overly invested in the subject to the point of debilitation.
 
2012-05-04 12:34:04 PM

Treygreen13: bulldg4life: If it isn't putting Calvin and Hobbes in a picture, I suck at photoshop.

After toying around with Ray Liotta's head for a while, I can see why you had trouble.
*another phrase I didn't think I'd ever say
Ray Liotta does not like facing directly forward or smiling, apparently. OH well. Here's Ray's eyes and nose on the Carlson instead.

[i291.photobucket.com image 275x235]


Yeah, I went looking for a stock photo and every goddamn picture has Ray turning his shoulders or some shiat.
 
2012-05-04 12:34:17 PM

WTF Indeed: When they realized it's hard to hype a game where the fifth starters are pitching in mid-May they gave up.


BUT IF THEY DON'T WIN THIS THEY ONLY HAVE 130 MORE CHANCES TO REDEEM THEMSELVES!
 
2012-05-04 12:34:43 PM
I'm all in favor of umpires calling balls/strikes on their own. What I don't understand is why instant replay hasn't been expanded to include plays where there is only one baserunner (the batter). That seems like the next logical, and easily implementable, step.

In regards to the article, it's really a shame because Weaver didn't need help no-hitting the Twins.
 
2012-05-04 12:35:28 PM

WTF Indeed: thomps: how much of an emotional investment does it take to wish officiating was fairly and consistently applied? this just seems like a terrible argument against improvement.

A lot I guess. Emotional attachment to a game is different in football than in baseball. In baseball there's another game tomorrow. In football everything rides on 16 games. Comparing the emotional investment football fans have to a single game to baseball is moronic. Football is a hype game, media spends a week hyping a game, therefore it has to be perfect on every level.

If baseball tried to hype every game or series they'd go broke. ESPN tried to do this for years with Yankees/Red Sox. When they realized it's hard to hype a game where the fifth starters are pitching in mid-May they gave up.


i agree with all of that but it doesn't really have anything to do with my point.
 
2012-05-04 12:35:42 PM

bulldg4life: Treygreen13: bulldg4life: If it isn't putting Calvin and Hobbes in a picture, I suck at photoshop.

After toying around with Ray Liotta's head for a while, I can see why you had trouble.
*another phrase I didn't think I'd ever say
Ray Liotta does not like facing directly forward or smiling, apparently. OH well. Here's Ray's eyes and nose on the Carlson instead.

[i291.photobucket.com image 275x235]

Yeah, I went looking for a stock photo and every goddamn picture has Ray turning his shoulders or some shiat.


Fun shoop tip. If you're in PS, Image>Adjustments>Match Color. Select the background of the image you want to match. Works wonders for getting a face to match.

Do with that what you will.
 
2012-05-04 12:36:57 PM

Treygreen13: bulldg4life: Treygreen13: bulldg4life: If it isn't putting Calvin and Hobbes in a picture, I suck at photoshop.

After toying around with Ray Liotta's head for a while, I can see why you had trouble.
*another phrase I didn't think I'd ever say
Ray Liotta does not like facing directly forward or smiling, apparently. OH well. Here's Ray's eyes and nose on the Carlson instead.

[i291.photobucket.com image 275x235]

Yeah, I went looking for a stock photo and every goddamn picture has Ray turning his shoulders or some shiat.

Fun shoop tip. If you're in PS, Image>Adjustments>Match Color. Select the background of the image you want to match. Works wonders for getting a face to match.

Do with that what you will.


whoa, i've not heard of this. do you know if there's a similar feature in GIMP or should i finally break down and buy PS?
 
2012-05-04 12:37:03 PM

chimp_ninja: The image from the article. Everything you wrote is contradicted by it. Weaver's pitches are the squares. The Twins' pitches are the triangles. Only umpire's calls are shown-- balls or called strikes.

See the 11 red squares outside the zone, some of which are 8-10" off the black? Called Weaver strikes. See the one red triangle (barely) outside the zone? That was the only freebie given to the Twins all night.


Yes, I noticed that afterwards. And you of all people should know that if you don't use the strikezone an umpire gives you, you're a moron. You can toss that low and away pitch all night, he wasn't going to call it a strike no matter who you were.
 
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